Austin, Texas—June 7, 2017: Yesterday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 into law. Senate Bill 8 prohibits partial-birth abortion, regulates the disposition of abortion victims, and, as amended, bans dismemberment abortions. When SB 8 reached the floor of the Texas House of Representatives, Pro-Life House members joined the efforts of the House Freedom Caucus to amend SB 8 with life-saving amendments, most notably the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Amendment.
Texas Right to Life is grateful to Governor Abbott for his commitment to Pro-Life values. By signing SB 8, including the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Amendment, into law Governor Abbott has confirmed the most significant Pro-Life victory of the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature. Texas is the eighth state to ban dismemberment abortions, which will save preborn children in our state from a torturous and inhumane death. In a dismemberment abortion, the preborn child is killed by being torn limb from limb while his or her heart is still beating.
Unsurprisingly, banning the gruesome and violent practice of dismemberment abortion in Texas gained tremendous support as a platform plank for the Republican Party of Texas and through grassroots support. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also supported the Pro-Life measure. The Dismemberment Abortion Ban was originally filed as HB 844 by Representative Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) and SB 415 by Senator Charles Perry (R-Lubbock).
Under the strong Pro-Life leadership of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Senator Charles Perry, SB 415 passed out of the Senate with bipartisan support. However, unprecedented political games among House leadership jeopardized passage of the Dismemberment Abortion Ban before the end of the session. Texas Right to Life worked with Representative Klick and Pro-Life representatives to craft the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Amendment, which was successfully added to Senate Bill 8 by a bipartisan vote of 92-42. Texas Right to Life is grateful to the House Freedom Caucus for their work to ensure the passage of life-saving amendments in the final days of the session. Without their dedication, the Dismemberment Abortion Ban Amendment would not have succeeded.
With the strong amendments added to SB 8, lives of the preborn will be saved and Texas will move forward in undermining the legal foundation of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the United States. The Dismemberment Abortion Ban Amendment is a monumental step in protecting the most vulnerable among us and advancing Pro-Life legislation in our state and across the country.